Financial literacy is an obstacle faced by developing or emerging communities as well as advanced societies throughout the world. It slowly starts to affect the local economy and eventually spreads out to the global level. Though attainment and development of wealth management principles and skills are essential to growth at all levels, studies show that personal finance education programs in later ages have very limited effect. This was an underlying reason for the development of the Jamaur Law Foundation, which promotes financial literacy education to children, teens, and adults, starting at the age of five. Through our own proprietary, character based financial literacy curriculum, we endeavor to address the spiritual, psychological, emotional, and technical aspects of finances. This holistic approach to curriculum has proven to be extremely popular and effective as it maintains the ability to connect with students and inspire participants of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds to take positive financial action.
As more and more communities and individuals become victims of unprosperous financial circumstances, the time is now for financial literacy programs, such as the ones at the Jamaur Law Foundation, to be championed, particularly with our youth. Not only is the lack of financial literacy impacting our current circumstances, it is already setting up our youth for a future that lacks promise and hope. According to the 2015 PISA3 administration, below is a snapshot of how the academic progress of students of low economic backgrounds has been stifled due to financial illiteracy:
- Overall, students from low-income backgrounds scored one proficiency level lower than their advantaged peers. At least 20 percent of students performed below the proficiency baseline.
- Of U.S. students, more than half scored at level 3 or lower (out of 5 levels) in 2015, and U.S. scores remained flat between the 2012 and 2015 administrations.
- Immigrant students scored 26 points lower than native-born students of similar economic backgrounds, and students from minority backgrounds scored significantly lower than White students.
- Students with high financial literacy scores reported being twice as likely to complete higher education than their low-performing peers.
Most individuals in The District, Maryland & Virginia areas have low- and moderate-income households, and they do not learn much about money or money management until they are already riddled with adverse financial situations. Financial literacy is not a school subject, it’s not promoted in many of our afterschool programs, and it is often not a topic we discuss at home. They may know that their families don’t have a lot of money, but they usually don’t understand why, or how the economic system works, and what that represents in their household, community, or nation. The Jamaur Law Foundation provides students with the foundation to become financially competent. We teach students money basics—budgeting, checking and savings; power of credit, and investments. In turn, this empowers our participants to participate in financial discussions with their families, save for college, and confidently manage their own money, and create wealth for their family members that will come after them. The programs at Jamaur Law Foundation elevates the dignity, hope, and economic self-sufficiency of young people, particularly in low-wealth and underserved communities, through financial literacy.
Organizations Goals & Outcomes:
The goal of the Jamaur Law Foundation is to help develop effective educational programming that connects with each age group. We seek to change the mindset of each student we reach regarding the importance of financial literacy and develop a financial awareness that will help them prevent or diminish future financial famine in their families and communities. The goal is to have each student create a system of savings, fiscal responsibility, and a philosophy of investment into their future. This commitment into building the financial foundation of tomorrow will promote a system that alleviates the generational poverty that has plagued our impoverished DMV communities. Intended outcomes of the Jamaur Law Foundation’s Smart Money Financial Literacy Program includes:
- The number of financial decisions an individual must make continues to increase, and the variety and complexity of financial products continues to grow. Students participating in the JLF Smart Money Program will achieve 90% master of the following topics by the end of course instruction: debit and credit cards, mortgages, banking, investment and insurance products and services, payday lending, rent-to-own products, credit reports, credit scores, savings, paychecks, and budgeting.
- 100% of individuals in the program will have opened and maintained banking and savings accounts through JLF’s bank partners.
- 75% of students will meet their pre-program 8-week savings goal at the end of the program.
- 100% of students will complete a monthly and weekly budget that carries them through the end of 2020.
- 100% of students will have an attendance rate of 80% or higher through the duration of the program.